LeMieux Expects Former Boss to Lose Senate Race to Rubio

Posted September 14, 2010 at 5:41pm

Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) expressed confidence Tuesday that former state Speaker Marco Rubio (R) would emerge victorious in Florida’s three-way Senate race, while also predicting big gains for the GOP in Sunshine State House races.

LeMieux, appointed to the Senate by Gov. Charlie Crist (I), said the enthusiasm of GOP voters in his state is high and likely to buoy Rubio and spill over into several House contests. LeMieux described Rubio’s two opponents, Crist and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D), as squabbling for the Democratic vote, and he said the dynamic was contributing to Rubio’s recent surge in the polls.

“I think this is a very good year to be a Republican,” he said. “Our voters have a lot of passion; they showed up in huge numbers in the primary. And I think if that intensity continues, Republicans are going to have a very good day, not only in the Senate race in Florida, but in our House races as well.

“It sure looks like both [Crist and Meek] are competing for the Democratic vote,” LeMieux added. “And I think Marco is going to win the race.”

LeMieux was appointed to the Senate by Crist before the governor left the Republican Party to become an Independent. The Senator previously served as Crist’s chief of staff and played a leading role in his victorious 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

According to the RealClearPolitics.com average of all polls taken in the Florida Senate race from Aug. 21 to Sept. 7, Rubio led with 39.8 percent. Crist garnered 31.3 percent, and Meek received 21.3 percent.